Ministry Idolatry and Fruit Bearing

Tim Keel wrote a book called "Intuitive Leadership, Embracing a Paradigm of Narrative, Metaphor, and Chaos." I'm not able to recommend the book for the same reason I'm not able to recommend much from the guys who call themselves "Emergent Village." I feel like they're asking the right questions, but are willing to abandon Truth in search of the answers.

Even still, because they're asking a lot of the right questions, sections of their books are extremely helpful. An example is this quote from "Intuitive Leadership" talking about the tendency for churches to fall into patterns of Ministry Idolatry:

"I believe the most acceptable and common form of idolatry in churches today is ministry. I believe many leaders and many churches worship ministry - that is, what we are trying to do for God... We often do not pursue God but instead pursue the fruitfulness that we are told accompanies God's presence in a person or community's life. Let me rephrase that statement: we rarely pursue God directly but instead pursue external expressions called "ministry" as a sign of God. But when we make ministry our pursuit, we make it impossible to realize the very thing we seek. Ministry is always the by-product of something else. What? The pursuit of God."

Keel goes on to point out John 15:4-5 and remind us that the command in John 15 is to "Abide," not to "bear fruit." Fruit-bearing comes from abiding. It isn't contrived, it isn't commanded, it isn't compelled. It's the natural product of a branch that abides. Rather than trying to talk our people into bearing fruit, we ought to teach them how to abide and let the fruit take care of itself.